President Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday that a tentative yes was received from the Turkish Cypriot side for a joint meeting at the anthropological lab of the committee of missing persons (CMP).

Speaking ahead of an EU and Latin America and Caribbean summit (EU-CELAC), Christodoulides said that he has received an initial positive response for a visit to the lab with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

“In fact, a specific day was discussed, at the end of July, for us to visit together, and the preparation of a joint communique, to follow our visits there, begins today. I hope we can reach conclusion on this joint communiqué. I do not see any difficulties in making this visit,” he said.

He added that this meeting would send a positive message.

In a comment on Sunday about the CMP meeting, lawyer Achilleas Demetriades said: “It [the meeting] could be the first step to establish a bicommunal truth commission in Cyprus.

“It could upgrade the existing committee of missing persons, by an agreement between the two leaders, which will then be affirmed by the UN general assembly in September.”

In a statement later in the day, Tatar said that he has been expecting to meet with Christodoulides at the CMP, since works in Aloda, an area where the Turkish Cypriot leadership has been pushing for works to be conducted, are set to begin.

Tatar said that he was informed by the CMP that excavations in Aloda, where a Turkish Cypriot mass grave is believed to be located, will start on July 24, 2023.